A unique window on the future of the family, this book offers a gold mine of insight and reassurance for any woman contemplating having children outside of marriage.
A remarkable number of women today are taking the daunting step of having children outside of marriage. In Single By Chance, Mothers By Choice, Rosanna Hertz
offers the first full-scale account of this fast-growing phenomenon, revealing why these middle-class women took this unorthodox path and how they have managed to make single parenthood work for them. Hertz interviewed 65 women—ranging from physicians and financial analysts to social workers, teachers, and secretaries—women who speak candidly about how they manage their lives and families as single mothers. What Hertz discovers are not ideologues but reluctant revolutionaries, women who—whether straight or gay—struggle to conform to the conventional definitions of mother, child, and family. Having tossed out the rulebook in order to become mothers, they nonetheless adhere to time-honored rules about child-rearing. As they tell their stories, they shed light on their paths to motherhood. A unique window on the future of the family, this book offers a gold mine of insight and reassurance for any woman contemplating this rewarding if unconventional step.
“Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice takes us on a thought-provoking journey with several single women facing the challenge of how to become a mother without a spouse. This is required reading for any single woman in her thirties who is concerned about the ticking of her biological clock.”—Jane Mattes, L.C.S.W., Founder and Director, Single Mothers by Choice
“Sensitively explores how traditional bonds of kinship and family forms are challenged and then renegotiated among middle-class women who have elected to become single mothers... This book is the first high-quality and comprehensive chronicle of middle-class women who decide to become mothers without partners.”—Contexts
"In this important book, Rosanna Hertz examines the lives of adult women who have chosen to become single mothers. Too often studies of this kind offer a snapshot of a moment in time, but here Dr. Hertz gives us a movie—a sifting, changing and evolving portrait that takes us from the difficult moment of decision to the present, from anxious new mothers wondering whether they could do it, to women and their children who have written a different kind of family narrative."—Lillian B. Rubin, Ph.D, author of The Man With the Beautiful Voice and Worlds of Pain
"Read this book for nuanced insight into how the concept of family is changing across our country. Read it if you are a single mom or considering single motherhood. Read it for the stories of the courageous women who took their desire for children into their own hands. They are creating new forms of kinship and support networks that will have echoes beyond the realm of single-mom families. Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice is well researched and well written, and surely to be much
is Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at Wellesley College and author of “More Equal Than Others ”(California, 1990). Nancy L. Marshall is Senior Research Scientist at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women.